£7.50 – £12

FOSSIL HUNT - Thorness Bay, Isle of Wight

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Thorness Bay


United Kingdom

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description


Thorness Bay sees a continuation of the Hamstead Beds, which can also be seen at Hamstead Bay and Yarmouth, and the start of the famous Insect Beds of the Bembridge Marls seen at Gurnard Bay. However, the beds are much thinner and less productive.

* Suitable for children 6+ (All children must be acompanied by a paying adult).
* HARD HATS (No Cycle Helmets), and HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS or jacket essential. We do not provide these, but you can add these when ordering if needed.

Please download and read the RISK ASSESSMENT Document

Please download and read the PPE POLICY Document

Please note, many of our locations will not have toilet facilities, water, or other amenities.

Fossil guide to this location: https://ukfossils.co.uk/2010/07/29/thorness-bay/

The area between Gurnard Bay and Thorness Bay is a classic location, famous for the Bembridge Insect Bed. This bed seems to have become less productive, but blocks can still be found in favourable conditions.

The centre of Thorness Bay is unfossiliferous, since these are covered by recent Palaeogene deposits. However, fossil remains of crocodiles and turtles can be found along the foreshore throughout the bay, washed from the Hamstead Beds at either end of the bay and from the area between Hamstead Bay and Yarmouth. These can be easily picked up along the foreshore, although they are much less common than from the main Hamstead Bay to Yarmouth sequence.

At the southern and northern ends of the bay, a low cliff will provide some exposures (although mostly slipped) of the Hamstead Beds. The Bembridge Marls also yields crocodile and turtle remains on the foreshore. A complete turtle was found a few years ago. Samples can be taken of these marls for sieving at home.

During scouring conditions and below beach level, the Bembridge Insect Bed can be seen. This is a bed with grey to blue-green laminated muds, with a distinctive buff and blue grained limestone and marl. This bed used to be highly productive, but has become less productive in recent years. Over 200 insect species have been recorded, together with some delicate fossils, such as bird feathers. These fossils are found within a limestone bed.


Can my child less than 4 attend the event?

We strongly advice against taking children under 4, but if the event allows children and leaders agree, then this is possible providing they are under your responsibility and care, and do not use tools or equipment. Please contact us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm) for more information.

Can I book over the phone?

Yes, you can, and we can take card payment, however a waiver must be signed before we can accept your booking. The waiver can be emailed or posted out, but must be returned within one week of the booking. Contact us on: 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm).

Can I pay on the day?

Sorry, we do not allow anyone to pay on the day, as we cannot provide pre-preparation details on risk assessment, and due to health and safety, places are limited.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

This will greatly help us and speed things up, but leaders will have a list of those attending on the day.

Is my registration ticket transferrable?

Please contact us and we normally try to accommodate this.

I have a question not listed?

Please contact us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm).

What happens if I can’t make it on time or get to the venue?

You need to contact us urgently. If this is within a few days of the event, call us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am till 4pm), if it is on the day or a couple of days before, contact the leader in the final confirmation email detailing where to meet and times. We cannot guarenete we can wait for you, but where possible, we will try.

Are toilets nearby?

Most events will not have access to toliets. The best places to find fossils are mostly areas away from built up areas, and tend to be quite remote. There are a few exceptions where toliets are close by, but it is best to presume they wont be available.

Will my friend's hammer and chisels from their tool box be okay to bring?

No, standard tools are made from inferior metal which splinter very easily against rocks. This is both dangerous to yourself and others, and flying metal can cause eye injuries or penetrate the skin. ONLY hammers specifically made for geological use can be used. We offer some to add to your order if you dont have any.

What happens if the event is cancelled?

We try very hard to avoid having to cancel, but if an event needs to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditons or unforeseen circansances, we will notify you immediately, and you will be offered an alternative hunt or date or a refund.

Can I bring my dog/pet?

UKAFH does not permit members to bring dogs or pets, unless under exceptional circumstances such as guide dogs. Some members may suffer from Cynophobia, or allergies. In addition, we need to ensure the safety of all members. Many beaches also do not permit dogs.

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Date and Time


Thorness Bay


United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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